Premiership Rugby, the organisation that represents the 12 professional rugby clubs in the Aviva Premiership Rugby League, the European Champions Cup and the European Challenge Cup, has adopted Intralinks’ VIA platform for secure fire-sharing with its commercial partners.
Those partners include broadcasters, sponsors and the 12 rugby clubs as well as Paul Sherrell, head of partnerships at Premiership Rugby, who is responsible for managing them and the information and intellectual property they share.
When Sherrell joined Premiership Rugby last year, he says that some of the processes surrounding data sharing were archaic and often insecure.
“Rugby is still fairly ‘new’, it only went professional in 1995. So as a business, when I took over this role, I could see that the information that we were sharing were through the traditional elements of email, courier or manuals,” he told Computing, describing how it was a problem which needed to be tackled.
“That concerned me in terms of the journey of that data; how efficient it was and more importantly, the ability to share it and control what you share,” Sherrell said.
As a result, Sherrell decided to “explore bringing in a product to help improve efficiency through the different workflows in my team” in order to aid them in their direct dealing with brands, the media and sponsors, which all require access to secure information that can’t be made public.
“They all want a certain amount of information that we share, but we don’t want them to disappear into the ether,” said Sherrell.
The solution for Premiership Rugby was the Intralinks VIA secure file-sharing platform, which is intended to help the organisation to digitally share documents with partners, without the threat of being replicated or lost.
“What it enables me to do is to post-up that information, but control it. They can see it, but they can’t download it, print it or forward it,” said Sherrell, who described how the simplicity of the Intralinks software played a role in his choice.
For Premiership Rugby, the key benefits have come in the areas of efficiency and security, with Intralinks VIA providing partners with a single, secure location where they can access important documents and information.
“The key benefits are efficiency. For example, we had some key pieces of inventory such as creative LED marketing that goes on at all of our games,” said Sherrell.
“In the past, the brand would send information to us, we’d download it then forward it to our LED supplier. Now it’s literally just a directory where the information is stored. I can give access to our LED supplier to download it and away we go,” he said.
Sherrell also described how using Intralinks for collaboration has improved communications between Premiership Rugby and its partners.
“When I took over, I found that a lot of times we’d have people ring in and ask for the latest information about timelines, then we’d have another call from the same brand asking the same thing. Their internal communications were causing us more workflow,” he explained.
“Now we put all the information we’ve got into a sub-directory. We educate them telling them that’s their go to, we’ll update it and the information will be there for them,” Sherrell continued, adding that it’s “more efficient” and “provides a better service”.
Describing the tool as “a very intuitive piece of software”, Sherrell told Computing that support from Intralinks had been “very good”.
“Whenever I need them they’re there and can talk me through any issues that I have,” he said. The fact that I’m dealing with lots of different people and they’ve all found it of benefit and easy to use just goes to show why I selected Intralinks,” Sherrell concluded.
Premiership Rugby isn’t the only organisation in sport which uses Intralinks for collaboration; the McLaren Formula One team also use Intralinks for secure file sharing.